Patrick Cantlay loses 54-hole lead, finishes T4 at Riviera

Henry Tran
Cantlay could not hold on to his lead at The Genesis Invitational.

LOS ANGELES — The Genesis Invitational is like a “home game” for Patrick Cantlay. From the first tee, where fans shouted “Go Bruins,” to the sixth, where they rooted on “Patty Ice,” fan support was solid for the Los Angeles native and UCLA product during the tournament in 2024.

Not only was support strong for Cantlay, but his play was excellent… until it was not. He put on a putting clinic on Thursday and Friday, finishing first in strokes gained putting. The greens were firm, but Cantlay was knocking in putt after putt. Plus, the rest of his game was solid, so he built a five-stroke lead heading into the weekend. 

“It’s the best putting surfaces I’ve ever seen around this place,” said Cantlay after his second round. “I like it when the greens are really fast; they’re as fast as I’ve ever seen them, and I’ve made a bunch.”

Cantlay cooled down on Saturday but held on to a two-stroke lead. He had come close to victory at The Genesis Invitational before, but his first 54 holes put him in an excellent position to win. However, the field caught up to him as he left the door open on Sunday. 

Cantlay was even-par on the front nine, having to save himself with multiple up-and-downs. Then, he ran into trouble on the back nine with three bogies and two birdies, which led to a one-over-par finish. That let a blazing-hot Hideki Matsuyama claim victory as he ended the day nine-under-par, finishing the tournament at 17-under. 

Cantlay ended 13-under-par and tied for fourth (T4). He closed his round by draining a long birdie putt in front of a massive crowd around the 18th green. Making the putt improved his finish from sixth to fourth.

Henry Tran

Matsuyma’s score of 62 was one shot higher than the course record, a stellar round to claim victory. He had six birdies on the back nine, quickly pulling away from the field. 

Matsuyama entered Sunday’s round six strokes off Cantlay’s lead, but his nearly historic display won him the tournament by three shots. He finished in the 60s in all of his four rounds.

Matsuyama was not expecting to come away victorious when entering Sunday, but he did. 

“I was not feeling comfortable with my ball striking, so I was thinking I would have some misses today, but that kind of worked out,” Matsuyama said.

Henry Tran

Also near the top of the leaderboard is Xander Schauffele, a San Diego native and San Diego State product. He was two strokes off of Cantlay’s total entering Sunday. However, an unimpressive round finishing one-under-par left him with a T4 finish.

The PGA TOUR’s next Signature event is the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which begins in early March. There, Cantlay and Schauffele could look to claim victory after coming close at Riviera.